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Eventually, a representative from the Manitoba Government came to the Douglas Municipal Office in Neuanlage and called a meeting with the Reinlaender Gebietsamt . On inspection of their books it was re­ vealed that they were not legal municipality property and Obervorsteher Mueller was allowed to retain possession of them. 66 It was November of 1884 before an assessment of the municipality was completed and only then did the municipal council find out that it was not in debt but had assets of twenty dollars. 67

Volost and Municipality

Thus by 1884 parallel institutions of Volost and Municipality were functioning within the confines of the West Reserve. Private village schools operated alongside district schools, railway towns existed be­ side the traditional villages, the Waisenamt was legally recognized by the Douglas Municipality, and the Reinlaender Gebietsamt governed as a parallel institution with the Rhineland Municipal Council.

Two weeks after the municipal council of Rhineland held its first meeting, Obervorsteher Mueller sent all Reinlaender village Schulzen new regulations governing statute labour separate from the municipal jurisdiction. Conversely, the municipal council, operating without the consent of the majority of its ratepayers, petitioned the Legislature to amend the Municipal Act to allow the Rhineland Council to impose statute labour according to local want. 68 This request clearly showed that the council recognized the power of the Reinlaender Gebietsamt. In fact until the Reinlaender Mennonites left for Mexico in the 1920's the municipal council functioned alongside that of the Gebietsamt. While there was a good deal of conflict between the two initially, a pattern of peaceful co-existence eventually developed by the 1890's and an accept­ able modus vivendi was worked out. 69


1. Jacob Fehr, Diary. Portions of this diary appear in translated form in Peter D. Zacharias, Reinland: An Experience in Community. pages 34-40. The following description of the arrival of the first Mennonites to the West Reserve comes from this source.

2. Canada. Sessional Papers. Annual Reports of the Department of Agriculture and

Immigration 1875- I 880.

  1. Peter D. Zacharias, op. cit., page 55.
  2. Mennonitische Rundshau, May 15, 1881.
  1. Reapers oj the Valley 1882 -1982: History oj the R.M. oj M ontealm. (Montcalm History Group, 1982). Township diagrams.

6. My source for Menno-Canuck dispute is Adolph Ens, "Mennonite Relations with Governments: Western Canada 1870-1925" (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Ottawa, 1978), pages 56-64.